6 Answers

  1. At work, we have to deal a lot with algorithms for optimal decision-making, and the concepts of freedom (and trust) arise regularly.

    Unfortunately, philosophy is powerless here, so I will write my thoughts:

    1. Let's imagine that there is a goal, the achievement of which depends only on us, and two options for action. (The option of doing nothing is even worse).

    We evaluate the results of each option, including all the consequences, in order to choose the best one (as far as possible). But we are free people and we choose the worst option. Or we don't do anything.

    Obviously, if the achievement of the goal depends only on us, then freedom of choice is stupidity or laziness. You just need to always choose the best option without any freedom.

    1. Let's imagine that achieving a goal depends on several people, and they have agreed on joint actions. But one of them considered himself free from obligations and did his own thing.

    I think it is clear that the freedom to break agreements is a deception.

    That leaves two options:

    1. Several people have not agreed, and their groups are not friends with each other or do not trust each other.

    In mathematical game theory, this is a classic version of a non-cooperative game wikipedia.org.

    In this case, if the enemy can take advantage of predictability, then you have to be unpredictable.

    That is, in a situation of hostility or distrust, freedom is unpredictability for disinformation of the enemy. However, it is necessary to observe the optimal probability of each choice and not repeat explicit patterns. In practice, you have to use a random number generator, that is, there is essentially no freedom of choice.

    In this case, the total gain of the parties is lower than possible in a cooperative game, but the best player can gain an advantage over a predictable opponent.

    And the last option:

    1. Several people have not had the opportunity to agree, but they can trust each other/be friends with each other.

    Classic example: Prisoner's dilemma wikipedia.org

    In this case, believing in the optimal (moral) choice of partners, everyone chooses the option that gives the greatest result for the entire team, based on the principle of “our own people – we will count”.

    Here, faith is the initial attitude to cooperation from the “love your neighbor as yourself” series.

    If one begins (for example, for reasons of freedom) to pursue his own selfish interests, then he can win a lot once, but the next time he no longer has faith and in the end everyone loses, as in the “prisoner's dilemma”.

    I think it is clear that here freedom is a betrayal and lack of culture.

    Let's summarize.

    Freedom is at best the illusion of free choice in a situation of hostility or distrust. In other cases, this is stupidity, laziness, deception or betrayal.

    What, then, is the “struggle for freedom”? If this is a conscious choice with all the consequences taken into account, as in the first case, then this is just normal courage, that is, will. There is no freedom of choice here, it is a necessity.

    On the other hand, faith is the trust of people that they will choose the best course of action for society without collusion, and the obligation to choose it as well. Therefore, the gentiles were not liked: it is not known what to expect from them and how to act.

    Therefore, faith is the preference of public interests over personal ones, the concept of duty instead of the concept of freedom.

    What happens if some people remain true to moral norms, while others systematically abuse this predictability? They have the mistaken impression that they, unlike the first ones, are free and therefore deserve a sweet life, and all the others are backward dullards and do not understand how to live. Gradually, they come to power and the topic of freedom becomes the manifesto of the elite and is not subject to criticism or rational discussion.

    Although John Nash was even awarded the Nobel Prize for his analysis of non-cooperative games, which shows that free choice of strategies often gives the worst result for each player, and only makes sense if one of the players plans to outplay the other, this had little impact on public opinion.

    In addition, I recommend the excellent publication of Alexander Markov's lecture and answers to questions on evolutionary biology “The Evolutionary roots of good and evil: bacteria, ants, humans”, which examines how the problem of freedom was solved by evolution: polit.ru

  2. The question of how free will and determinism can be reconciled has been a concern of philosophers since at least the time of Augustine. Initially, it was a question of whether human freedom is compatible with divine predestination. In the 17th century, the problem took on a modern form: can a person be free if physical determinism is true? Many philosophers of the past and present have argued convincingly that determinism and free will are compatible. This is what Hobbes, Locke, and Hume thought, for example.

    In addition to the assumption that determinism is correct, the question conceals another assumption: if the world is not deterministic, then free will exists. The fact that determinism and free will are incompatible can be shown quite easily: according to the thesis of determinism, every physical event (and, moreover, the state of the world as a whole) at any given time is uniquely determined by previous physical events – causes. My free actions are also physical events. So they are also deterministic, and the chain of causes and actions can be traced back to the moment before I was born. Can an action whose cause appeared before me depend on me? Our intuition of free will tells us that it doesn't.

    However, the opposite can also be proved: indeterminism is also incompatible with free will. If indeterminism is correct, then there are events in the world that have probabilistic causes. Let's imagine that I perform some free action: I choose between an apple and a pear, and settle on a pear. Now let's imagine that you, the observer, can go back in time as many times as you want at the moment of my choice. This is possible: you do this many times and see that each time I choose a pear. Then the conclusion is that my choice is deterministic and not free. Or maybe you'll see that 70% of the time I choose a pear, and 30% of the time I choose an apple. Then what is the manifestation of my free will? I approach the moment of choice with the same set of beliefs, motives, desires, and in the same state. And the same set of beliefs, motivations, desires, and the like can lead to both choosing a pear and choosing an apple. It turns out that in the second case, my choice is random and does not depend on my will.

    This argument should show that efforts must be made to reconcile free will with both determinism and indeterminism. In accordance with the question asked, I will try to outline only the first option.

    The concept of free will requires clarification. What do we mean when we speak of a free act? We usually assume that this action depends on me, and I have several alternatives from which I choose. In a certain sense, free will can mean that a person has the ability to interfere with the relationship of causes and actions and change them, possibly even contrary to physical laws. Such an understanding of free will can be found in Descartes: the soul or thinking substance is different from the physical one, it has an inherent will, which it can manifest, influencing physical processes. Today, however, scientists accept the view that the human mind is not a separate substance and obeys the same physical laws as the whole world, regardless of whether these laws are deterministic or not. Man is a physical being, and our actions have physical causes. Are we losing the ability to influence future events? Not really: we can influence them without going beyond the laws of physics.

    A free act, as I have already noted, depends in a certain way on the doer. Let's look at the nature of this dependency. When we talk about a strong-willed person, we mean that he acts in accordance with his own decisions. A weak-willed person is someone who obeys external causes. According to our concept of free will, an act that is consistent with the motive of the actor is free. That is, our concept of free will already contains determinism!

    However, the concept of free will also implies that the actor has several available alternatives from which he can choose. It seems that the existence of such alternatives contradicts determinism. However, let's find out what we mean when we talk about these alternatives. For example, I claim that I have a choice between an apple and a pear, and if I want to take an apple, I will take an apple, and if I want to take a pear, I will take a pear. But this does not contradict determinism! Suppose that I have a desire (deterministic in the strictest sense) to take an apple, and I perform an action (also deterministic) – take an apple. Then it remains true that if the world were different and I had a deterministic desire to take a pear, I would do the deterministic action of taking a pear.

    And the final argument for the compatibility of free will and determinism: knowing that determinism is true and knowing the causes of all events from the beginning of time to the end of the world are two different things. My choice of pear can be determined from the time of the Big Bang, but this does not mean that standing in front of a fruit basket I know that I will take a pear. Moreover, our knowledge works as one of the factors of doing things. If, for example, I find out that if I go up these stairs, I will fall and break my leg, I will not go up these stairs. Determinism does not remove our responsibility to think about our actions and be responsible for them.

    Thus, physical determinism does not contradict such important properties of free will as the ability to influence future events, the dependence of a free act on the doer, and the availability of alternatives. Free will is incompatible with determinism, if we understand by the former the ability of a person to act contrary to the laws of physics.

    The arguments presented here do not exhaust the variety of arguments for the compatibility of free will and determinism. For the sake of completeness, it should be noted that there are many who defend other positions: that free will can exist only if indeterminism is true, or that free will does not exist under any circumstances.

  3. SCIENCE has not yet matured to accurately solve much easier questions and problems…

    The general scientific principle today is ” question everything.”

    The optimal answer here so far is the dual nature of the World – and determinism and the presence of free will.

    A new optimal solution to such problems is a new technology for the development and operation of science and education, which solves any scientific and practical problems many orders of magnitude faster and more efficiently.

  4. If in the question itself we say that the world is deterministic, then there can be no question of free will. These concepts contradict each other. Determinism presupposes that every decision we make has a reason, and that every action or omission we do results from experience. If we think about why we acted in a certain situation in a certain way, we will understand that our “free” decision was influenced by millions of factors, and if we consider the causes of a single factor, it will also be the result of a great many others. Thus, any of our “free” choices are nothing more than a set of causal relationships. As Schopenhauer wrote, a person always acts as he wants, but at any given time he can only want one thing and nothing more (the words are not given verbatim, just for memory). A stone falling down in free fall, if it could think, would also think that it was falling of its own volition, but in fact it would fall under the influence of gravity. Returning to the wording of the question, if the whole world is deterministic, then free will is an illusion and cannot exist in practice.

  5. A weak-willed mind is incapacitated, an unfree will is nonsense. Thus, the question of free will is identical to the question of whether a person has a mind? In my opinion, the answer is obvious.

  6. in fact, the question is different. (the original question is illogical in that it presupposes and immediately wants to refute itself with more ideas “to the pile”, none of which is based on experience. and as a result, there will be a lot of ideas that are no longer “glued”to a person/life)
    in my opinion, the “correct” question is: if the world is deterministic, is there freedom from choices that are predetermined?
    in practice, the next thought is unknown to us (and every subsequent one. each time it is registered “on arrival”, after the fact)
    this means that there are many options to choose from (for example, there are many options for drinks in a bar), but the choice itself is already laid down (you want either wine or vodka, and you can only want what you want and you can't want what you don't want)
    this system works properly and smoothly, until for some reason there is a reversal of consciousness (attention) from the choice (in all various situations) to the chooser (which is always the same).
    when the chooser is perceived (there are two options: either he is perceived as a person, or self-identification/self-perception occurs through consciousness), freedom from deterministic choice occurs. because there is no one for whom this choice was made (or its illusory nature was seen). logic can't be understood here (after all, logic itself is perceived), but this is true from experience.

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